Newtown's Sad One-Month Anniversary

Just one month after the Sandy Hook School shootings, there’s little except the aftermath to consider.


I can’t imagine being Noah Pozner’s mother.

Very shortly after the murder of her son, Sandy Hook’s youngest victim, Veronique Pozner spoke with Naomi Zeveloff, a writer for the Jewish Daily Forward, about her son—how he lived and how he died. She also revealed that she had asked to see Noah’s body before he was buried, because she felt it was her role as his mother, not only to see everything, but to stand in testament to what Noah’s legacy could be. 

“’I owed it to him as his mother, the good, the bad, the ugly. It is not up to me to say I am only going to look at you and deal with you when you are alive, that I am going to block out the reality of what you look like when you are dead. And as a little boy, you have to go in the ground. If I am going to shut my eyes to that I am not his mother. I had to bear it. I had to do it.’”

These are heartbreaking words, raw in their simplicity. They describe an act of bravery beyond anything I could begin to comprehend. Many who have written and debated in the month since the shootings have tried to honor the victims with memorials and tributes, but as Kim LaCapria eloquently wrote in her post on The Inquisitr, even the graphic words need to be part of our perspective.

“And it seems that regardless of where you stand on any of the issues stirred up by the tragic violence in Newtown, we all owe it to the surviving families to hear not just the uplifting stories of togetherness and bravery after the Sandy Hook shootings, but the unvarnished facts of the situation as well. The six-year-old boy who was shot not only in the face in his first-grade classroom, but an additional ten times as well.”

It seems Mrs. Pozner’s hope is that what happened to Noah will leave some lasting legacy; she asked Gov. Dannel Malloy to view Noah’s body before the family laid him to rest. She wanted the Governor to have the memory of the effect anytime he considered legislation about the cause of Noah’s death.

In the days that followed the devastating killings in Newtown, there was another case that involved gun violence closer to where I live in Wilton. An alleged domestic violence situation ended with a husband and wife both being shot in the face by a single shot, the husband with life-threatening injuries. Once he recovered enough for the case to move forward, the police brought charges against him, and a photo was released to the media.

This image of his disfigured face ran on Patch and in every local media outlet. It was a disturbing, yet relatively tame illustration of the kind of havoc ammunition can cause to human flesh. It’s jarring, and some readers found it upsetting and inappropriate to view.

However, it’s the missing piece in the puzzle that is the gun violence debate. If we can admire the romantic notion of a hunter culling an overburdened wildlife population using semi-automatic guns, if we can celebrate the adrenaline-pumping cartoon images of video game brutality, and if we can champion a flag-waving, bullet-draped armored-up gun enthusiast, surely we can include a face with a gauze-stuffed bullet hole gazing out at us from our morning news.

It just completes the picture.

So today, as I write this on the one-month anniversary of the deaths of Noah Pozner, his 19 little friends and his six teachers, please hold in your mind the look of his sweet little boy face as well as the heartbreak of a mother who had to say goodbye to a very different last image.

Carol Hudak January 16, 2013 at 08:48 PM
The 'Jewish Daily Forward' described Noah's face in the coffin as his mouth covered with a cloth - because he no longer had a mouth. It had been blown away by 11 shots. Mrs. Pozner is already and will continue to be a force to be reckoned with in America, as she speaks out about the carnage at a Newtown elementary school, which executed 20 children and 6 adults. If the description of Noah is unbearable, it is also the brutal reality of what so many in America find as 'enjoyment;' stupid, ultra violent movies and disgusting video games. It takes conscious effort to replace this 'entertainment' (?!!) with something a whole lot more substantive. Personally, our home has had no tv for over 5 years; a conscious choice since today's bottom-feeding 'entertainment' was/is an insult and not worth the time - or the money. No tv means making better choices for our time. It goes against the American popcultural grain, but it can be done, and done well. Mrs. Pozner has brought us past the teddy bears into the reality of the brutal execution of 20 sweet, innocent, gorgeous children like Noah. As we continued to grieve, less than one month after this holocaust, some dumb, vile 'Texas Massacre' movie premiered - to large crowds - and huge boxoffice receipts. Which is it, citizens? Tears for Noah and the other children . . . or feeding the coffers of Hollywierd, encouraging the continued production of absolute vile garbage. Look at Noah's face and answer that question.


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